PIPELINE SENSOR CONDUIT AND ADHESION METHOD
1. A structure, comprising:
- a pipeline;
a conduit embedded in a thermoplastic; and
a porous material with pores, at least some of the pores occupied by the thermoplastic, the porous material being adhered to the pipeline.
A conduit embedded in thermoplastic and adhered to a pipeline with a porous material assisting in the adhesion. The porous material is adhered to the pipeline, the porous material having at least some pores occupied by the thermoplastic. The porous material may be a sleeve of fibrous material. The adhesion may be accomplished by positioning a sleeve of fibrous material around a guide, bringing the thermoplastic into contact with the sleeve and heating the thermoplastic to cause the thermoplastic to enter pores of the sleeve. The guide forms a barrier preventing the thermoplastic from reaching a portion of the sleeve, and that portion is adhered to the object. This method may also be applied to adhere a thermoplastic, with or without a conduit, to any object.
- 1. A structure, comprising:
a pipeline; a conduit embedded in a thermoplastic; and a porous material with pores, at least some of the pores occupied by the thermoplastic, the porous material being adhered to the pipeline.
- View Dependent Claims (2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
- 7. A method of adhering a thermoplastic to an object, the method comprising the steps of:
positioning a sleeve of fibrous material around a guide; bringing the thermoplastic into contact with the sleeve and heating the thermoplastic to cause the thermoplastic to enter pores of the sleeve, the guide forming a barrier preventing the thermoplastic from reaching a portion of the sleeve; and adhering the portion of the sleeve to the object.
- View Dependent Claims (8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18)
Optical fiber pipeline sensors.
Optical fiber sensors are commonly used to detect problems with pipelines. The optical fiber sensors typically comprise optical fibers in conduits that are located at or near the pipeline. However, for trenchless pipeline installation methods such as horizontal directional drilling (HDD), typical conduit applications are likely to fail during installation or after installation when no mitigation is possible. Therefore, there is a need for an optical fiber conduit that can be more reliably used in trenchless pipeline installation such as HDD.
Thermoplastics are difficult to bond to other solids using most adhesives. The adhesives that do work well with them are orders of magnitude more expensive and subject to sometimes limiting curing issues, than other structural adhesives such as epoxies and urethane adhesives.
There is provided a structure including a pipeline, a conduit embedded in a thermoplastic, and a porous material with pores, at least some of the pores occupied by the thermoplastic, adhesive the porous material being between, and adhered to each of, the pipeline and the thermoplastic.
In various embodiments, there may be included any one or more of the following features: the porous material is adhered to the pipeline by an adhesive which occupies additional pores of the porous material. The porous material may comprise fibers. The porous material may comprise a sleeve. There may be an optical fiber within the conduit. There may be a second conduit embedded in the thermoplastic.
There is also provided a method of adhering a thermoplastic to an object, the method including positioning a sleeve of fibrous material around a guide, bringing the thermoplastic into contact with the sleeve and heating the thermoplastic to cause the thermoplastic to enter pores of the sleeve, the guide forming a barrier preventing the thermoplastic from reaching a portion of the sleeve, and adhering the portion of the sleeve to the object.
In various embodiments, there may be included any one or more of the following features: positioning the sleeve around the guide may include obtaining a rod shaped to curve around and be supported by plural rollers, supporting the rod with the rollers, connecting an output end of the rod to the guide, fitting a sleeve over an input end of the rod, and driving the rollers to progress the sleeve over the rod and around the guide. The guide may be progressed off of the guide after the thermoplastic has entered the pores of the sleeve. Heating the thermoplastic material may include heating the guide, the guide being formed of a heat conductive material. The object may be a pipeline. The thermoplastic may enclose a conduit. The method may also include inserting an optical fiber into the conduit.
These and other aspects of the device and method are set out in the claims.
Embodiments will now be described with reference to the figures, in which like reference characters denote like elements, by way of example, and in which:
Immaterial modifications may be made to the embodiments described here without departing from what is covered by the claims.
There is provided a means of welding preformed or inline created fiber sleeves to the thermoplastic or thermoset plastic materials. The plastic materials can be any length or width.
The plastic material is brought into intimate contact with the fiber sleeves. Inside the sleeves a guide is inserted. This guide can be inserted as the sleeve is formed, or the guide can be held in place as the sleeve is drawn over it. As the sleeve is brought into contact with the plastic, heat and pressure are applied. The heat and pressure cause the plastic to melt and flow and encapsulate the fiber sleeve. The guide forms a barrier such that the plastic, under heat and pressure cannot flow past it. The result is a layer of fiber that is not encapsulated with the plastic. That fiber can later be saturated with adhesives and thereafter bonded to any other solid material that is prepared to accept adhesive bonding.
The results are the creation of a high strength, easy to bond to solid materials composite.
The preformed fibre tube 20 can be manufactured by several means, including knitting, from flat woven or braided materials sewn into tubular shapes, helical winding, braiding, and other methods known in the art. The fibre tube 20 can also be made by inline processes, by attaching machines capable of making tubes of fibres to the front end of the processes used in the invention. The fibres used in either process can be from a wide selection of fibres that can withstand the necessary heat to melt the surface of the thermoplastic material 22. The fibres include but are not limited to; fibreglass, basalt fibres, quartz fibres, aramid fibres, para aramid fibres, PBO fibres, liquid crystal fibres, semi-liquid crystal fibres, carbon fibres, nylon fibres, and ceramic fibres.
In this embodiment of the invention, the progress of the composite 18 as described in
There are other potential means to achieve essentially the same results as described in this embodiment. These include but are not limited to; using heated rollers to supply heat and pressure, chilling rolls to supply cooling, any number of alternative linear motion systems to move the composite through the process. Alternatives could also include using the linear motion to act in a stepped fashion, whereby the composite is processed in each station by having a time dwell and then rapid movement to the next station. For example, the roller clamps in the heating and cooling systems could be replaced by solid clamps. The materials would be put under pressure and heat for some period of time, the clamps deactivated, the materials would then proceed down the line to the chilling station and solid clamps activated to allow cooling of the materials.
The ability to feed the preformed fibre sleeve 20 as described in
Avoiding manufacturing the preformed fibre sleeve 20 over the guide 24 can reduce cost and avoid the need to include a material that may cause corrosion issues in the composite and to what it may be adhered to. If a metal guide is included within the sleeve, it could cause corrosion to the object to which it is bonded (e.g. pipe 14) or to the composite itself. For example, copper oxidizes and can react with some of the chemicals in both the adhesive and water which can cause the destruction of the epoxy resins used to make the composite. It could also cause a potential loss of galvanic protection and destroy the pipe coating'"'"'s bond to the pipe and ultimately loss of the metal of the pipe itself, should there be a void in the coating of the pipe.
The step of positioning a sleeve around a guide may be carried out according to the method shown in
In the claims, the word “comprising” is used in its inclusive sense and does not exclude other elements being present. The indefinite articles “a” and “an” before a claim feature do not exclude more than one of the feature being present. Each one of the individual features described here may be used in one or more embodiments and is not, by virtue only of being described here, to be construed as essential to all embodiments as defined by the claims.